66 New senators,43 ranking others for inauguration in 9th state

As contest for Senate President, Deputy take shape

national assembly

The 9th Senate scheduled for inauguration in June will see the inauguration of 66 new Senators, while 43 others are ranking members.

The number is in line with the tradition of turnover in the Senate since the 5th Senate in 2003, a tradition that has sustained until the outgoing 8thSenate inaugurated in 2015.

Results released so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicated that out of the 109 lawmakers to occupy the Senate, 66 are new members altogether while 43 others are either members of the outgoing Senate or were sworn into the previous Senate.

The ranking Senators, in line with Senate standing rules, are eligible to contest the two Presiding officers seats (Senate President and his Deputy) and the eight Principal officers’ positions including the Majority Leader, Minority Leader, their deputies as well as the Majority Whip, Minority Whip and their deputies.

On the day of inauguration, which would come up after the issuance of the proclamation by the President to signal the dissolution of the 8th Senate and the opening of the 9th Senate, the Senate President and his Deputy would emerge as the first order of the day, without which no other business is entertained.

The emergence of the Senate President and the Deputy would then pave the way for the swearing-in of the newly elected Senators, whose caucuses would then proceed to name the other Principal Officers.

Only the Senate President and the Deputy are elected by the entire Senate at the plenary. The Principal Officers are named by the different caucuses; the majority and minority caucuses, which will submit agreed names to Senate in plenary.

While the Presiding officers must emerge on the first day of sitting, some of the Principal Officers could emerge well after the first day of sitting.

Unofficial channels have indicated that at least four Senator-elect of the 9th Senate have indicated interest in contesting the Senate Presidency in June.

The four include ranking APC Senators like Ahmed Lawan ( Yobe North), Ali Ndume ( Borno South ), Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) and Abdullahi Adamu ( Nasarawa West).

Though the party is yet to come up with its zoning arrangement, the Senators, all members of the outgoing Senate are already being mentioned.

The battle for the Deputy Senate Presidency is already pitching the zones in the South against themselves as Senators from the South West, South East and South South are said to be showing interests.

Names being mentioned for the Deputy Senate President’s seat include Oluremi Tinubu, Solomon Adeola, Olubunmi Adetunmbi, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and Orji Uzor Kalu (a former member of the House of Representatives) among others.

Right now, the APC has 65elected Senators, while the PDP has 41 Senators with some seats outstanding while the Young Progressives Party (YPP) had one Senate seat from Anambra.

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